Diagnosis of vaginal discharge by wet mount microscopy: a simple and underrated method

Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey
Ioannis Mylonas, Florian Bergauer

Abstract

Vaginal discharge is highly variable in quality and quantity among different individuals, and even in the same individual during different periods of life. Vaginal discharge is most commonly caused by infection with sexually transmitted organisms or increased colonization by different facultative pathogenic microorganisms (i.e., Gardnerella vaginalis). Noninfectious causes of vaginal discharge are quite rare (10% noninfectious as compared to 90% infectious causes). Most common in women with a vaginal infection is bacterial vaginosis (40%-50% of cases), followed by vulvovaginal candidosis (20%-25%), and then trichomoniasis (15%-20%). If infection is suspected as the primary cause, a sample of the vaginal discharge should be taken and examined microscopically. When evaluating vaginal secretions by phase-contrast wet mount microscopy, knowledge of what is normal versus abnormal is very important. Knowledge of the sensitivity and specificity of wet mount microscopy in different clinical settings is also important. Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Family Physicians After completing this CME activity, physicians should be better able to evaluate lifetime changes in vaginal secretions, characterize the physiological and pathological app...Continue Reading

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Related Concepts

Candidiasis of Vagina
Uterine Cervicitis
Genital Neoplasms, Female
Microscopy
Trichomonas Vaginitis
Pap Smear
Bacterial Vaginosis
Vaginal Discharge
Candidiasis
Microscopy

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